Positive psychological changes that occur during meditation training are associated with greater activity of telomerase, an enzyme important for the long-term health of cells in the body, scientists have revealed.
The study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of California, San Francisco is the first to link positive well-being to higher telomerase.
The effect appears to be attributable to psychological changes that increase a person's ability to cope with stress and maintain feelings of well-being.
"We have found that meditation promotes positive psychological changes, and that meditators showing the greatest improvement on various psychological measures had the highest levels of telomerase," said Clifford Saron, associate research scientist at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain.
The study, with UC Davis postdoctoral scholar Tonya Jacobs as lthe ead author, was published online Oct. 29 in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.